First to the East Valley, Fuchsia Spa has expanded their facials and spa services to offer the first blow dry bar, at the Village Square at Dana Park shopping in Mesa. The move to the new space was an expensive investment by owners, Lisa and Erin, to move and revamp their salon services to offer the new spa and blow dry bar. I personally visited the new location and was impressed with the new, sleek interiors, and loved the friendly staff.
The two women opened the original spa in Mesa in the beginning of the recession with one goal in mind- to offer spa services and pamper women at an affordable price. The day spa’s prices range from $19 for Gal on the Go nail services to $119 for an Ultimate Facial. Since opening Fuchsia in 2007, Erin and Lisa have grown the business to achieve an average of $1 million in sales per year. With the additional space and services, they anticipate a 100% growth in sales by the end of the first year – to $2 million.
So I had to ask, what is their secret for success and making the spa and blow dry bar work in the recession. Here are a few tips from the owners of Fuchsia at starting a business partnership and how to be an entrepreneur in the spa and salon industry:
Fashion Phoenix: How did you two come to know each other to start a business together?
Fuchsia: Erin and I (Lisa) met while working at the University of Phoenix in the Enrollment Department. Erin was my boss for about 5 years and at the end of the 5 years, I decided to leave and start my own business to allow for more flexibility with my schedule to increase my family time. When I mentioned my goals to begin my own business to Erin, she said she had been thinking of making a similar change. We initially looked at several franchises but couldn’t find the right concept so Erin said, “Let’s create our own spa!” We worked on the Fuchsia concept for about a year prior to opening.
FP: Are you both stylists or is one of you the business brain and one the creator, or how to you fit into your business puzzle?
Fuchsia: I am a former Cosmetologist, and although I only practiced while in college, I decided to keep my license current. It is funny how full-circle I came, as I never anticipated opening a spa or salon while practicing hair in college. As far as how we fit together as business partners, Erin is more involved with the day-to-day operations such as pay roll, employee management, ordering of supplies, etc. and I work with a bookkeeper on our books, the attorney on our trademark and franchise and the marketing company. I also stay on top of trends and continually researching hip styles from NY, LA and other big cities. I am always looking for new revenue ideas to bring to Fuchsia and to draw the consumers in with the newest trends. We have learned so much through our partnership, such as who is good at what; our skill sets are very different which makes for great business partners.
FP: What steps did you take to put the idea of Fuchsia into action?
Fuchsia: We spent countless hours researching the competition, working with the spa designer on the look of Fuchsia and coming up with a business plan. We also worked with a branding/marketing team to help brand Fuchsia. Our ultimate business goal has always been to franchise Fuchsia.
FP: Any mistakes or missteps that you care to share with others thinking about starting a business?
Fuchsia:Yes, we overspent in some areas of our budget. For example, we could have saved a lot of money on our build-out by not getting custom retail cabinets and getting pre-fabricated cabinets instead.
FP: What’s the most difficult aspect of working with a partner?
Fuchsia: The most difficult aspect is that sometimes you don’t always agree on decisions. Over the years we have learned to compromise; if something is really important to one partner then the other partner gives in. Our compromising style works well for us.
FP: What’s the best thing about working with a partner?
Fuchsia: We have completely different strengths, which makes us well-rounded businesswomen. I tend to be very numbers driven which is good when it comes to the book keeping and making sure that our profit level is where it needs to be. I am also completely obsessed with new trends and beauty products, which is great for keeping Fuchsia on trend. Erin’s strength is with the staff. She has an amazing ability to really listen to our Fuchsia team and give amazing advice, which helps employees grow both personally and professionally. Erin is a great leader and a big reason why we have very little employee turnover at Fuchsia. Some of our staff has been with us since opening over 5 years ago, which is almost unheard of in the spa/salon world. Erin inspires our team and helps create a very positive team environment.
FP: If you could start completely over, would you do anything different?
Fuchsia: Yes, we would have spent less on our first build out.
FP: What prompted the expansion of the salon and services?
Fuchsia: We have outgrown our current space. Every nook and cranny is being utilized and we can no longer grow our revenue due to our lack of space.
FP: Are you looking to expand into more salons?
Fuchsia: Yes, we are working with a franchise attorney to franchise Fuchsia.
FP: Pink just happens to be my favorite color, so I’m wondering why the name Fuchsia and what it means, anything?
Fuchsia: Fuchsia is part of the pink family of colors, but it is more vibrant and lively than the other shades. We carry the color’s mantra of livelihood into the environment of our spa…we are part of the spa family, but more vibrant and lively than others in the industry. We pride ourselves on creating a non-pretentious and welcoming spa environment for our clients.